So, who’s worried about the sequester?
Basically everyone. Republicans hate it because it’s going to cut $42.7 billion from the military’s budget. Democrats hate it because it will shave money from the budgets of programs like Head Start and the National Institute of Health, put government employees out of work, cut unemployment benefits for the nation’s poor, and take an ax to all kinds of federal infrastructure and research projects. (The New York Times has a roundup of the various ways agencies are preparing themselves for sudden financial doom.) And everyone is worried that cutting $85 billion from the federal budget this year will hurt the national economy — by most estimates, the sequester would reduce GDP by around a half-percent this year and cause a significant spike in the unemployment rate.
Kevin Roose has a “Moron’s Guide to the Sequester” in the Daily Intelligencer today, which is fun (and it has to be fun because like the discussion about the fiscal cliff, a lot of people get bored out of their minds before getting into the meat of things). Here are other takes on explaining the sequester:
• Gawker’s comic book explanation using Kate Upton and Ryan Gosling
• Heidi Moore’s essential guide to the spending cuts over at The Guardian
• Mother Jones’s explanation on 12 ways the sequester will screw over the poor